Wednesday, February 27, 2008

No matter their ages, our children are full of surprises! I just happened to pull up my blog spot last night and saw the pictures of Christopher with two of his grandparents and his dad. Imagine my surprise! What Marty didn't tell you is that in the two of Tom and me holding Christopher he is just 12 hours old. We had recently arrived at the hospital after our day and a half trip to Raleigh and were so excited to see and hold him for the first time.

One of Marty's dogs loves to snoop in my stuff and chew what she finds. The first day we were there she discovered the cable that attached from my camera to the computer and chewed it into two or three pieces. Marty and Kevin replaced it with a card reader--far better than the cable that got destroyed. She assures me that I can insert pictures into my e-mails and blogs, but I haven't been brave enough to try yet. I'm glad she intervened so you could see Christopher for yourselves. Stay tuned and maybe I'll learn to post pictures too.

Yesterday I told someone that one of our TV weather forecasters has gotten to be like the little boy who cried "wolf." He has predicted frozen precipitation at least a half dozen times this winter and any comes it's a flake or two. Yesterday, later in the day, his prediction came true. We had a little sleet, followed by pretty snow flurries until about noon today--none of which stuck. There are lots of disappointed children.

Last night Tom and I attended a Parkinson's support group and learned some things about exercise for the PD patient. That part of the program was good. The leader of the group is a woman who drones on and on, apparently thinking she must comment on everything anyone says. She makes the meetings a bit tedious. I sat by a lady in a wheelchair whose speech has been greatly affected by her Parkinson's. When I told her my name, she asked if I was Presbyterian. I wondered if it showed! Then she said that she and her husband belonged to First Presbyterian and I said you must know our son. She did. Being Presbyterian didn't show after all. I had to really concentrate and get up close to her to try to distinguish what she was saying and I couldn't help but think how good it is that Tom is getting help at this stage with his speech. Maybe this will nip his speech problems in the bud. Finally, the lady told me that she and her husband moved here to teach at Union University and that she taught piano there for 25 years. We had something else in common and she seemed glad we had another connection. I will look forward to seeing her again.

Last week ABC News, both in the morning and in the evening, featured a story about a 13 year old autistic girl who has never spoken. Consequently, even her parents had doubts about her mental capacity. One day they discovered that she could communicate using a computer. Until then they had no idea the young girl could even spell. When asked the question, "What advice would you give to those dealing with autism?" She said that she would tell them not to be mad (at actions of an autistic person), but to be understanding. No one doubts her mental capacity anymore. She possesses wisdom beyond her hears.

DON'T BE MAD. BE UNDERSTANDING. Those words are stuck in my mind. They work for more than autism. Probably all carepartners get frustrated and impatient with the various symptoms exhibited by those for whom they care. I do. Frustration and impatience, without understanding, leads quickly to anger. Anger is nonproductive. The words of a young, autistic girl remind me to start every day with a prayer on my lips and in my heart that asks God to prevent my anger and give me understanding instead. It's a more loving way to live.

Pastor Margaret

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